Smart Cards issued to Uttar Pradesh labourers under MNREGA

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Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), May 25 (ANI): Labourers in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur District have been given Smart Cards under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) to ensure that they are not cheated of their wages.

A smart card reading device is similar to a mobile phone. It is an integrated biometric enabled machine in which card is inserted and the money is given to the beneficiary after taking the thumb impression.

Following the guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Purvanchal Gramin Bank has hired Financial Information Network and Operations (FINO), a not-for-profit company in Mumbai, to issue smart cards and hire business correspondents.

The card resembles a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card. It contains all the information such as name, age, address, account details, digital photograph and fingerprint impressions of the beneficiary.

"We have made agreement with the FINO that we will open an account in every village. After opening the account, we will make their payment at the doorstep so that the labourers, farmers, widows, disabled and aged persons get the help provided to them by the government at their doorstep," said Praful Kumar Srivastava, Smart Card Coordinator, Purvanchal Gramin Bank.

Under the new system, there is no scope of cheating as no one except the beneficiary can withdraw the money. The labourers are happy, as they don't need to from a queue in a bank to get the wages for their labour.

"I work under the NREGA scheme. Earlier, I spent around 14 rupees to go to bank, there used to be huge rush and we need to form the queue. Now, we get the payment sitting at home," said Kusmati Devi, a village labourer.

NREGA was renamed as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act MNREGA on October 2, 2009.

MNREGA aims at enhancing the livelihood security of people in rural areas by guaranteeing hundred days of wage-employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. (ANI)

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